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Showing posts from January, 2017

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

I usually like Joanna Trollope's novels but I didn't finish this one.  There are a lot of characters and I found some of the connections confusing. Also, I like the way that Trollope writes about modern trends so I thought that I would be interested to read about a character with a mother who has Alzheimer's, however, I found it extremely depressing.

I may give it another try later, but it didn't grab me and life is short!

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The Essential Guide to Mindful Dressing Jules Standish

File:Blue dress - Ch9 Today Show, Bourke Street Mall - Flickr - avlxyz

This is a great book for anyone who wants to improve their way of life by using colours! Standish explains how to tell what 'season' you are and how to dress appropriately. She also gives excellent advice about choosing the right colours to wear for different occasions or just to improve your mood. For example, blue is soothing and red can give one energy. She also tells readers how to match colours.

I think that I will buy this one!

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917 – 1921 Women Urgently Wanted by Samantha Philo-Gill

This is a useful textbook by Samantha Philo-Gill for research purposes but I found it too dry for bedtime reading!

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917 – 1921 Women Urgently Wanted by Samantha Philo-Gill published by Pen & Sword Publishing

256 pages

Kindle $10.34

The Trials of The King of Hampshire Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England by Elizabeth Foyster

This is an unsettling story about the 3rd Earl of Portsmouth who was brought before a commission by his family because his sanity was in question. He was a rather unsavory character with extremely odd interests, but was he mad?

He was treated in a very inhumane way by his second wife and her family and several people either took advantage of him or tried to take advantage of him so it's a sorry tale. This is a well-researched study of a very dark side of Regency society. I didn't finish it because I didn't want to worry about it now and I didn't find it all that interesting.

I received this free ebook from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

Marie-Antoinette by Stefan Sweig

Ididn't finish this biography because I found it too wordy and old-fashioned, however, it is an important study of the French Queen. Swieg attributes much of the cause of the French Revolution to Louis XVI's early impotence and Marie-Antoinette's frustration. This led her to seek happiness in over-spending, gambling, parties and coquettish behavior with handsome young men. He appears to take an unsympathetic view and regards Marie-Antoinette as a rather silly and heedless young woman during her life who only faced her death with great dignity.

I felt that too much of this bbased on gossip and speculation and that Sweig attached too much importance to the poor Queen's behavior and not to her enemies and the American Revolution which was the real cause of the downfall of the economy.

I received this free ebook from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

IN Pursuit of Privilege. Give Feedback In Pursuit of Privilege A History of New York City's Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis by Clifton Hood

This was thoroughly-researched and useful for students studying the history of the upper classes of NYC. However, I found it a bit too academic and dull to read straight through. I may try again later.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn

This book got a bit repetitive but I certainly think that the idea is worth a try! According to Feldhahn, you can change your relationships simply by being kind. She suggests focusing on one difficult relationship for thirty days and practising the three area of kindness - saying nothing negative, practising praise and doing a small act of kindness - each day.  This will become a habit and soon you will be able to be kinder to everyone! She has an excellent chapter on how to overcome the difficulties of being kind, such as how to keep one's temper.

I am glad that she explained that being kind is not being 'nice'.  Kindness doesn't 'shy away from a challenge' and it doesn't avoid conflict.  It requires 'honesty and strength'.  The old saying that 'you have to be cruel to be kind' really does apply sometimes, for example, if your child needs treatment for alcohol addiction, it is kind to refuse to make excuses for him.  Feldhahn points out tha…

Kick. The True Story of Kick Kennedy, JFK's Forgotten Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth by Paula Byrne

"Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. " -
'Kick" Kennedy was a likeable, vivacious, and intelligent young woman who was loved by almost everyone who met her.  This biography by Paula Byrne recounts her happy childhood in a large and boisterous family, her closeness to her beloved brother Jack, her love for England, her deep Catholicism and her anguished love affairs. The many tragedies which affected her life are handled well.Leaming's exposition of her struggle with her struggle with her Catholicism which conflicted with her desire to marry the Duke of Devonshire is especially good.

Kathleen Kennedy really came into her own when she went to England where her father was the American Ambassador during the 1930s. Although his anti-war views were highly annoying and embarrassing, she attracted a lot of suitors.  The young English men liked her 'openness and w…

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

When art restorer Emily goes to Atlanta, all of her dreams come true.  She falls quickly in love with a young and handsome Italian chef called Ben. Her work is praised, and even her sister Amy is able to pull herself together, and doesn't steal Ben's attention.  Emily has finally found true happiness with Ben.

However, things are not so easy when the loving couple go to Italy and live with Ben's big and complicated family.  Ben's father Lucio is dying and the sadness of this is worsened by the tensions and secrets within the home.  Although Lucio takes Emily under his wing, Ben's mother is cold to her, and Ben and Emily have their first fight when Emily tries to help his sister make a match with Alessandro...

This was a sensitive and moving book and a good description of a clash between cultures and a growing romance.  It was easy to imagine that one was in a warm Italian household and easy to empathise with Emily's difficulties.  I was a bit surprised that the…